The task of living in modern New Zealand – and especially in modern Auckland – is not just to understand how to live with different peoples, but how to adapt to the future that has already happened.

 New Zealand is a nation that exists on Pacific Islands, but does not, will not, perhaps cannot, see itself as a Pacific Island nation. Yet turning to the Pacific, argues Damon Salesa, enables us to grasp a fuller understanding of what life is really like on these shores.

 After all, Salesa argues, in many ways New Zealand’s Pacific future has already happened. Setting a course through the ‘islands’ of Pacific life in New Zealand – Ōtara, Tokoroa, Porirua, Ōamaru and beyond – he charts a country becoming ‘even more Pacific by the hour’. What would it mean, this far-sighted book asks, for New Zealand to recognise its Pacific talent and finally act like a Pacific nation?

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